Why Do Digital Devices Cause Eye Strain?
Digital eye strain is not directly caused by digital devices themselves but by the extra effort it takes to maintain a clear image on a digital screen. Driving, reading, writing, and other activities that require prolonged focus can also lead to eye strain, but digital device use is the most common cause.
But why? Images and text on digital screens aren’t as clear as those on printed materials, so our visual system has to work harder to focus and maintain these images. We also tend to:
- Blink less while using computers, causing dry eyes and discomfort
- Use devices at less than ideal angles, causing neck, back, and shoulder pain
- Use devices with glare or reflection
- Use devices with poor contrast and brightness
How to Reduce Eye Strain
Fortunately, eye strain can be managed by making some simple lifestyle changes at work and home. In fact, some of the discomfort you feel from using a computer is related to the strain placed on your body, so these lifestyle changes can be good for your eyes and overall health.
The 20-20-20 Rule
One of the easiest ways to reduce eye strain is to give your eyes frequent breaks. Remind yourself when to take a break by following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something at least 20 feet away. These breaks give your eyes a chance to relax and readjust.
Combining breaks and proper workstation setup, peppered with some desk stretches for added benefit, will help your body and eyes stay comfortable and happy:
- Place your monitor at arm’s length to support your natural viewing distance.
- Position your wrists straight and your hands at or below elbow level to reduce strain on your tendons.
- Choose a comfortable chair with plenty of support, and adjust your chair height, so your knees are level with your hips.
- Reduce glare by facing your screen away from bright lights and windows.
- Set your screen’s colour contrast and brightness to match your environment.
Digital Eye Strain & Children
Digital device use is on the rise among children, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for virtual schooling. Unfortunately, children aren’t immune to digital eye strain symptoms, and prolonged computer use has been linked to visual and musculoskeletal issues.
Fortunately, the same techniques for avoiding eye strain for adults can be used to prevent eye strain for children.
Come Visit Us
Our practice is located on the corner of Grand Avenue East and Woodland Avenue. We have a large parking lot off Woodland Avenue with accessible parking and entrance.
- 412 Grand Avenue East
- Chatham, Ontario N7L 1X1
Hours of Operation
- Monday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Friday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed